Premier League – Team news: Gerrard missing
All the latest team news ahead of this weekend’s Premier League games with Liverpool having to plan without their inspirational captain once more.
For projected team line-ups, stats and players to watch just click on the match of your choice in the link below the picture.
All kick-off times 15:00 unless otherwise stated
Bolton v Aston Villa
Ricardo Gardner limped out of last week’s 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth and is a doubt for the clash. Danny Shittu will also face a late fitness test while Mark Davies and Joey O’Brien are long-term casualties.
Everton manager David Moyes is expected to restore Tony Hibbert and Phil Jagielka to his starting line-up against Manchester City. Jo is ruled out due to being ineligible to face his parent club, with striker James Vaughan is in line for a possible start.
For City, Micah Richards is poised to return in place of Pablo Zabaleta, who has a hamstring strain, while Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle) remains sidelined. Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong is doubtful with a thigh injury, so Gelson Fernandes or fit-again Martin Petrov could step in.
Fulham v Stoke
Stoke City will be without defender Danny Higginbotham (back) and James Beattie (thigh) for their trip to Craven Cottage. With defender Andy Wilkinson also doubtful with a back complaint, Potters boss Tony Pulis will be forced to shuffle his pack.
Hull City v Liverpool
Hull manager Phil Brown could recall Bernard Mendy as his side host title-chasing Liverpool after the midfielder came on as a substitute against Middlesbrough. Daniel Cousin is doubtful with his back problem, but the Tigers hope the striker can recover in time to play at the KC Stadium. Captain Ian Ashbee serves the second of a two-match ban.
Liverpool have been dealt a severe blow with Steven Gerrard (pictured) again absent due to a groin injury. In-form Yossi Benayoun is therefore likely to keep his place. Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger will be left to battle it out for the one spot at centre-back, partnering Jamie Carragher, with the pair exchanging roles of late.
West Ham v Chelsea
West Ham hope to have Radoslav Kovac back, but former Chelsea midfielder Scott Parker is still unavailable. Freddie Sears will again be included in boss Gianfranco Zola’s squad, with Diego Tristan and David Di Michele expected to start in attack.
Ricardo Carvalho is still struggling with a hamstring injury, while Ashley Cole has a minor knock, allowing Michael Mancienne or Juliano Belletti to make their case at left back. Michael Essien may be given a rest in midfield, with Jon Obi Mikel in line for a start, while Jose Bosingwa is still missing.
Manchester United v Tottenham (17:30)
United are without Gary Neville and John O’Shea who are both “out for a few weeks” according to Sir Alex Ferguson. The return of Wes Brown should cushion that blow while Rio Ferdinand – who was rested in midweek against Portsmouth – is expected to return to the starting line-up.
Michael Dawson is set to miss out for Tottenham so Harry Redknapp will be hoping that Ledley King will be fit enough to start. Jermaine Jenas (hamstring) and Roman Pavlyuchenko (back) are both back in training and pushing for starting spots.
Arsenal v Middlesbrough (13:30)
Arsenal are without striker Robin van Persie but Emmanuel Adebayor could return after his slight hamstring problem. Manuel Almunia and Johan Djourou have also both returned to full training and are pushing for starts.
Middlesbrough have a double boost in midfield ahead of their trip to the Emirates. Gary O’Neil is back after serving a suspension while Didier Digard returns from injury. Chris Riggott has been ruled out and is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Blackburn v Wigan (16:00)
Benni McCarthy remains Blackburn’s only fit striker as Jason Roberts and Roque Santa Cruz are still both out. Meanwhile, Matt Derbyshire, on loan at Olympiacos, has scored four goals in five Greek League matches as well as the winner in a cup match. Brett Emerton is another Rovers player still missing.
Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia is set to miss the Lancashire derby with a knee injury but combative midfielder Lee Cattermole returns after serving a four-match ban. Controversial striker Amr Zaki might be named in the squad but is unlikely to start.
Newcastle v Portsmouth (20:00)
Newcastle are set to be without Steven Taylor who is struggling with an ankle injury. Jose Enrique could return though after missing the last two games with a knee injury. Joey Barton is close to fitness after a fractured metatarsal and Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka will be sharper after a full week’s training.